Tuesday 21st May

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Rye Laughs review

Rating:

Ian Cater, Chief Features Writer and Reviewer

Last week saw the final Rye Laughs comedy night of the year and the last ever at Peckham’s The Nines, before it moves to new home Peckham Springs next month.  

In three short years, hosts Rose Johnson and Sarah Nade have built the event – which takes place on the third Wednesday of each month – into one of the most consistently enjoyable around.  And the latest show was a perfect example of what Rye Laughs has to offer: a relaxed environment packed with excellent young comedians bestowing South Londoners with a great blend of material.

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Category: Comedy
Marriage
Photograph by Tim Stubbs Hughes

Marriage @ Jack Studio Theatre

Rating:

Another capacity crowd at the Jack Studio Theatre welcomed a new run of Gogol’s ‘Marriage’. Loaded with wisecracks from the start, the story, such as it is (translator Howard Colyer compares it to ‘Waiting for Godot’) is a grower. Sunny Jeon’s graphic-y design, de-constructed, Surreal, opens-up the space. You almost feel inside the setting whilst simultaneously looking-on. Is the same dichotomy shared by the players?

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Category: Comedy
Gyuri Sarossy and Kirsty Besterman
Gyuri Sarossy and Kirsty Besterman

Tonight at 8.30 @ Richmond Theatre

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Ways and Means

Initially warring factions in a not-so-typical marriage make for some scintillating scenes. Hilarious for its own sake, you laugh along and forget why you’re laughing. The stridency of the entire cast is undoubtedly indebted to the genius of Noël Coward – easily on par with Wilde – like watching a Victoria Wood sketch cranked-up to the nth degree. Thank you English Touring Theatre for the rediscovery. Gyuri Sarossy as the husband is fierce and manic; Kirsty Besterman as the wife, sharp and sassy. Shereen Martin as Elena is just great. Coward’s catty and sometimes nasty dialogue is ever ripe for the picking. Or the pickling – juicy and sour as a cocktail cucumber. Brilliantly modern, an effective commentary on capitalism, then as now. For money drives quite literally.

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Category: Comedy
Jason Durr as Poirot
Jason Durr as Poirot

Hercule Poirot in Black Coffee at Fairfield Halls

A stimulating exhibition of detective cunning saw the marvelous Hercule Poirot return to the London Stage. Following David Suchet’s retirement from the televised version in 2013, after nearly 25 years on the job, the mammoth task of filling the detective’s smart brogues falls to Jason Durr; best known for his portrayal of Mike Bradley in the police drama Heartbeat.

A performance that upheld this rich theatrical tradition and charmed Tuesday’s audience came from Jason Durr’s fantastically expressive eyebrows. When employed along with pensively joined fingertips and a neater than neat three piece suit that looked as if it were drawn with a ruler, the charismatic little Belgian was brought to life with more than a little joie de vivre.

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Category: Uncategorized
Darren Beaumont
Darren Beaumont // Photo credit: Tim Stubbs Hughes

Pool @ Jack Studio Theatre

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Showing until June 7, 2014 // The Write Now Festival

As always, setting the scene is a vital aspect of a visit to The Jack. This time, literally stepping into a Hockney-esque painted ‘pool’ can feel quite disconcerting. The attractive and effective set by David Shields makes full use of Amy Mae Smith’s transcendent lighting; birthing those lovely rippling reflections of sunlight-on-water. Kate Bannister comments that “the designers have done a cracking job…” and likewise the director. The sound-scaping by Mark Webber is exemplary.

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Category: Culture
Jammatology: Adam Hutchings and Chris Sav
Jammatology: Adam Hutchings and Chris Sav

‘Philosofood’ Book Launch

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An excellent evening at The London Particular launched Adam Hutchings’ and Chris Sav’s first foray into publishing. ‘Philosofood’ is essential reading for any self-respecting foodie, an adult ‘Horrible Histories’ wandering into both faction and imaginative fiction. A friendly and accessible tome, as its title may or may not indicate, ‘Philosofood’ is jam-packed with titillating tales and titbits, with scandalous stories of Roman excess – all those famous characters we think we know so well. Plus the odd, sometimes very odd, recipe; culinary or otherwise.

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Category: Art
Theo Jackson
Photo by Ben Amure

Theo Jackson: Exploring the boundaries

Appearing at The Forge, Camden, February 27 + St James’ Theatre Studio, Belgravia, March 22

Theo Jackson is fast establishing himself as a force to be reckoned with on the Jazz scene, having returned to these shores from the US to two forthcoming London dates at The Forge in Camden and St James’ Theatre in Belgravia. Theo writes his own songs as well as offering a unique take on the standards. His slightly raspy voice belies the gentlest jazzy vibrato; imagine if you will Nick Drake in this genre and you’ll be somewhere near. I define Jackson as a contemporary storyteller and it’s one reason he cites Nick Drake as influential, alongside forces as diverse as Stevie Wonder and Tom Waits.

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Category: Music
Matthew Trusler
Matthew Trusler

1901 Arts Club: Matthew Trusler & Gordon Back

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1901 Arts Club // Waterloo

It’s worth getting to 1901 Arts Club early. I arrived about ten minutes after doors open, and the charming and elegant upstairs bar was buzzing. The first in a series of Hattori Foundation Birthday Recitals was pretty much sold out – so book your tickets soon. Erich Gruenberg, chairman of the trust that supports young and gifted musicians, commenced proceedings with an entertaining and enlightening introduction. His pleasure in sharing two of the world’s “favourite sonatas” was infectious.

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Category: Clubs